A new hire impacted by Coinbase’s decision to terminate some job offers this week and freeze hiring said he was blindsided by the move.
“I was fired even before I started with the company,” the worker, whose identity was not revealed, told Business Insider.
Coinbase cited “current market conditions and ongoing business prioritization efforts” in a companywide memo detailing its decision to pull some job offers.
The announcement came just two weeks after the embattled cryptocurrency trading firm confirmed a slowdown in hiring during a steep downturn in the market.
The latest shift updated the plans of the out-of-luck hire, who told Insider that he had accepted a Seattle-based role at Coinbase in March and was still going through the pre-employment process as recently as last week.
But the foreign student received an email Friday revealing the offer had been rescinded — after he had already signed a lease in Seattle. He said he faced potential fees if he backed out of the agreement. Additionally, the worker faces a limited time frame to find a new gig because he is on a visa.
“I wanted to join Coinbase because it was so big and competitive and even joined the Fortune 500, but now I know how volatile and unpredictable cryptocurrency can be, I’m done with it,” the worker told Insider.
A Coinbase spokesperson told The Post that the decision to rescind offers and pause hiring was “extraordinarily difficult,” but it “made sense for us to take stronger action to manage our expenses given how quickly we were ramping hiring.”
“As we said in our note to employees, we will continue to evaluate all of our options to responsibly navigate Coinbase through the current cycle,” the spokesperson added.
In the memo to employees, Coinbase’s chief people officer LJ Brock said internal discussions made it clear the company needed “to take more stringent measures to slow our headcount growth.”
Brock said the hiring pause will extend “for the foreseeable future” and include job backfills for departing employees, unless they are critical to the company’s operations.
Coinbase will also “rescind a number of accepted offers,” with impacted workers informed by email.
“This decision is not a reflection on the highly talented people we had extended job offers to,” Brock said. “We will apply our generous severity philosophy to offset the financial impact of this decision.”
Coinbase said it would create a “talent hub” to assist affected candidates with job placement, summarize reviews, interview coaching and other needs. It’s unclear how many offers were rescinded.
“We always knew crypto would be volatile, but that volatility alongside larger economic factors may test the company, and us personally, in new ways,” Brock added. “If we’re flexible and resilient, and remain focused on the long term, Coinbase will come out stronger on the other side.”
The hiring freeze was the latest troubling sign for Coinbase. The company’s stock plunged last month after a weak first-quarter earnings report and a warning that the crypto holdings of its customers could be at risk if it goes bankrupt.
Later, CEO Brian Armstrong posted a series of tweets in which he addressed the situation and said the company was at “no risk of bankruptcy.”
Coinbase is not the only company dialing back on its hiring plans due to difficult market conditions.
Twitter has also rescinded some job offers and paused hiring in recent days as it moves forward with negotiations related to Elon Musk’s takeover bid of the company.
And earlier this week, another trading hub, Gemini, revealed it would cut 10% of its staff due to what co-founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss described as the onset of “crypto winter.”
Bitcoin is trading below $30,000 this week, down from its all-time high of $69,000 achieved last November.